Role of biological markers in the clinical outcome of colon cancer

O. Nanni, A. Volpi, G. L. Frassineti, F. De Paola, A. M. Granato, A. Dubini, W. Zoli, E. Scarpi, D. Turci, G. Oliverio, A. Gambi, D. Amadori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated a number of biological markers, evaluated under strict intralaboratory quality control conditions, in terms of their role in predicting clinical outcome of patients with colon cancer treated with 5-FU-containing regimens. Colon cancer tissue from 263 patients enrolled onto two randomised clinical trials were studied for their cytofluorimetrically determined DNA content and their immunohistochemically evaluated microvessel density, vascular endothelial growth factor expression, thymidylate synthase expression and tumour lymphocyte infiltration. Disease-free survival and overall survival of patients were analysed as a function of the different variables. At a median follow up of 57 months, age, gender and Dukes' stage showed an impact on disease-free survival, whereas no biological marker emerged as an indicator of better or worse disease-free survival. Only histological grade and Dukes' stage were found to influence overall survival. The different biological variables, studied with particular attention for determination reliability, proved to have no impact on the clinical outcome of patients with colon cancer. Therefore, other markers must be identified to complement clinico-pathological variables in the management of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-875
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 7 2002


  • 5-FU adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Biofunctional features
  • Clinical outcome
  • Colon cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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